I’m a sleepwalker. I also talk in my sleep. And the dreams I dream are crazy vivid and, oftentimes, scary. Oh, and I’m an insomniac.
So, on the rare occasion I do actually fall asleep, I often find that it is restless.
This morning, for example, I woke up in my garage. No, really. In my garage. With a pillow. And an empty pizza box. No, really.
I was fully dressed – apparently on a mission that got derailed by my washing machine.
Over the years I have awoken in my car, in my living room, and in my backyard. I have packed luggage, gotten dressed, rearranged furniture, and started cooking – luckily, I woke up when I was putting a plastic bowl in my oven.
The sleepwalking ramped up just in the last year.
A quick googling of the interwebs shows that I’m not alone. In fact, just googling the word “sleepwalking” scored over 10 million hits. Anxiety, fatigue, and lack of sleep are all associated with sleepwalking. Which is ironic if you think about it because sleepwalking, for me, causes anxiety, fatigue, and lack of sleep. This is a list of other things that can cause sleepwalking: alcohol, sedatives, or other medication; medical conditions, such as partial complex seizures; and mental disorders.
I tend to sleepwalk when I haven’t been drinking, and I don’t use sedatives or other medications. I don’t have seizures, at least that I’m aware, so context clues here should tell you that I’m not ruling out mental disorders. But I digress.
In other confessions of today, I have an overactive imagination and am slightly petrified of the dark. Both of these things began when I was little. Blame Freddy Krueger – that son of a bitch.
In fact, I recall standing on my side of the house in the middle of the night, building up courage to run across the living rooms – both the formal one no one ever used and the one with the TV – to get to my parents’ room. I did this every night of fifth or sixth grade. Every night, I slept in my parents’ room. RIght in the center of their bed. I link this to their divorce. You’re welcome, Mom.
So, sans sleeping pills or alcohol, here’s how my night went:
- 11:00pm: Fall asleep on the couch watching a rerun of “Glee.”
- 11:45pm: Awake in my bed to the sounds of someone inside my home.
- 11:46pm: After careful consideration of the noise and my ability to do karate late at night, I grab the lamp on my bedside table – my weapon of choice – and make my way into my hallway with my dog, Durango (Cesar Chavez Blvd.) Cox. (She is the scariest of them all and will bite someone if need be.) To be clear, during a horror film, this is when I would be yelling, “You idiot! Don’t go looking for the intruder! Just call the police. You’re a moron, and you deserve to be killed!”
- 11:47pm: I walk halfway down the hall and realize the noise is coming from my office/guest room. The door is closed, which is unusual. At this point, my house alarm siren goes off. This is my train of thought for the next 4.2 milliseconds: “FUCK!!! SOMEONE IS IN MY HOUSE!!! THEY’VE JUST SET OFF THE ALARM!!!! I NEED TO CALL 9-1-1!!!! Wait…the alarm company will call them! Tear open the door to scare the person away! Don’t do that, you asshole, they’ll stab you. Open the door. DON’T OPEN THE DOOR! Durango will eat whoever it is…it’s ok…open the door! Holy shitballs, the alarm is loud. Maybe my neighbors will hear it and come over to help. How far away are the police? Will they get here before I’m killed?!? If I am killed, who will take care of my dogs? How heavy is this lamp? I don’t know if I’m ready to kill someone by hitting them on the head. Open the door. DON’T OPEN THE DOOR!”
- 11:47pm (and 30 or so seconds): I open the door to the office and find…death, destruction, a killer with a ninja sword…? Nope. I find…Legs, my long-legged chihuahua. He appears bloated. “Holy crap,” I think, “the alarm is so loud. It may not scare a burglar away, but it’ll make his ears bleed, making my getaway easier.” A quick scan of the room shows some things out of place, but since I do not see a killer, I run to turn the deaf-making siren off.
- 11:48pm: I go back into the office and survey the damage. The dog food, which is in a plastic container on top of a kennel, is toppled over – most of it is eaten. (I’m assuming the toppling of the container is what woke me.) I also assume that when Legs heard me coming down the hallway – the hallway with the motion detector (OHHHH, I set the stupid alarm off!) – was when he began mass-consuming the food, which is why he appears bloated.
- 11:52pm: I’m wide-awake, after having plotted my own demise by the non-intruder in my house and cleaning up copious amounts of dog food. I realize that I fell asleep on the couch, but woke up in my bed. In pajamas. So, in my sleep, I set the alarm, put on pajamas, and got in bed. I may have accidentally shut Legs into the office, too – one can never be sure.
- 2:47am: Still awake, watching reruns.
- 3:15am: Fall asleep on the couch.
- 5:45am: Awake in the garage, fully clothed, on a pallet of dirty clothes with a pillow and an empty pizza box.
You would think I’d be embarrassed to share this photo. I’m not. It explains why I needed a nap today (which I didn’t get) and may strap myself in tonight.Anxiety, fatigue, and lack of sleep. Check, check, and check.